STATEMENT FROM THE MUNICIPALITY OF ANCHORAGE’S LEGAL DEPARTMENT STAFF
Contact: Sarah Erkmann
The Municipality of Anchorage will continue to cultivate a working environment for municipal employees free from unlawful discrimination. Allegations regarding racial discrimination are addressed through a variety of mechanisms, including federal and state law, municipal code, and municipal policies and procedures. The Municipality currently provides employees with several methods to address discrimination concerns, including providing for employee redress through the Office of Equal Opportunity, the Anchorage Equal Rights Commission and grievance or arbitration procedures. The Municipality also works with local groups to assist it in dealing with issues regarding discrimination, including a longstanding working relationship with the Anchorage Community Police Relations Task Force and Bridge Builders.
While each and every allegation in the complaint will be more fully addressed after the Municipality has had an opportunity to determine whether any of the allegations are valid, municipal officials can say that many of the allegations were already addressed by agencies tasked with investigating discrimination claims and were found to be without merit. Mayor Sullivan said, “My administration will work closely with APD to review this issue. While the majority of these allegations predate my and Chief Mew’s tenure in office, we as municipal officials remain committed to a positive work environment for all employees. Claims of racism are serious, and we will make sure they are thoroughly investigated.”